It was a hectic night of basketball at Castleford Monday, where two of the eight teams were ousted from the Northside Conference boys' tournament.
Having lost nine straight games at the conference tournament since 2008, the No. 7-seeded Community School Cutthroats turned it around and stayed alive with a 55-50 loser-bracket victory over the No. 6-seeded Camas County Mushers.
Camas (7-13) had beaten the Cutthroats twice in three meetings, and had eliminated the Sun Valley boys from the tournament for three straight years. But Cutthroat seniors Henry Rickbeil and Will Brokaw led their team to the win.
Rickbeil (27 points, 6 rebounds) and Brokaw (23 points, 4 boards, 3 steals) led the gutsy performance for a Cutthroat team that had only six players. Rickbeil was in foul trouble from the early stages, and Camas led 28-23 at halftime.
Coach Erik Olson said, "The Cutthroats turned the ball over only seven times. It was a big win, and a credit to the kids for staying together and closing out a game against a tough team that proved twice before they don't go down easily."
Sophomore point guard Taylor Adler (4 points, 5 rebounds) and Jake Flaherty (2 points) also chipped in as the Cutthroats (7-11) snapped a five-game losing skid and advanced to play No. 4 Murtaugh (12-9) in Tuesday's loser-out game.
Murtaugh had its hands full with the deep and talented Carey Panthers Monday night. Carey moved the ball extremely well on offense with 22 assists and 60% shooting from the field. The Panther defense picked up 17 steals and the Red Devils committed 19 turnovers.
The top-seeded Panthers (16-6) hammered away and made it 14 consecutive wins with a 70-44 victory. The result put Carey into the conference championship game today, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Castleford.
Coach Dick Simpson's Panthers are the defending Northside Conference champions and reigning State 1A Division 2 champs. They will clash with rival Dietrich (17-2), the second seed, for the right to advance to the State 1A Division 2 meet March 1 in Caldwell.
Dietrich took care of No. 2 seed Castleford (11-9) by a close 36-32 score Monday night. Carey and Dietrich met only once this season, Carey winning at home 58-50 on Feb. 10.
Senior Baley Barg (15.2 ppg) scored a career-best 31 points Monday leading 10 Panthers into the scoring column against Murtaugh. Barg shot 12-for-13 from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line. He added 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
Other contributors included Dillon Cenarrusa (10 points, 4 rebounds), Chance Chavez (8 points, 8 assists), Garrett Lee (8 points, 3 boards), Jack Cenarrusa (4 points, 3 assists, 4 steals) and Jordan Dilworth (2 points, 7 assists, 3 steals).
Wolverine boys exit in GBC
Two losses in the Great Basin Conference boys' basketball tournament ended the 2011-12 season of the Wood River High School boys' basketball team (2-19) last week. Top scorer Austin Hafer led the Wolverines.
Last Tuesday, the No. 3-seeded Burley Bobcats romped 60-29 over Wood River despite 13 points by senior Hafer, 5 by junior Ben Williams and 4 by co-captain Jake Vegwert.
No. 4-seeded Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls (8-16) eliminated Wood River by a 39-27 score Thursday. Canyon Ridge went on to avenge an earlier loss to No. 5 Minico (5-18) by a 34-28 count, but Burley trounced Canyon Ridge 82-38 Saturday.
Top-seeded Twin Falls (20-2) faced off against No. 2 Jerome (19-4) in the GBC championship Tuesday night at Twin Falls. Jerome beat Burley 42-35 on Monday night to advance.
Leading scorers for Wood River (37.4 ppg offense, 59.0 ppg defense) were Hafer 197 points (9.4 ppg), Williams 118 (5.6 ppg), Vegwert 75 (3.6 ppg) and Braxton Parish 71 (3.4 ppg). Other seniors were Colton Larkin 50 points, Quentin Dowdle 44, Dylan Carey 42, James Petzke 18 and Luis Lopez 18.